Pressing hard to get ready before my deployment. Spent most of the day running through computer tutorials and tracking down folks to sign off various inprocessing items. I met the Ops Group commander today and had the opportunity to chat with him for a few minutes about what I'll be doing for the foreseeable future.
I talked with his secretary while I was waiting. Her youngest daughter is due to deliver her first any day now. We were regailing each other with stories of the deliveries of our children. The funniest thing, and something that seems to be a recurring theme with all the fathers I've talked with that have been in the delivery room with their wives, is just how little we actually contribute to the birthing process. I had visions of coaching my wife through this most natural of events, just like the husbands do in the movies. "Breathe, breathe, breathe, PUUUSSSSHHH!" Nope. None of that. Arlene didn't want to hear anything I had to say. It got to the point where my breathing irritated her. You can't really blame them, can you? I bang my head on the cabinet and I want to punch a hole in the wall. I can only imagine what I'd do if I had to squeeze out a basketball. You get the picture.
I eventually accepted my role as the punching bag/handgrip/scratching post/head full of hair to pull, during deliveries. My wife would be mildly surprised at the damage after all the smoke cleared and the child was born, and mildly amused. It was the least I could put up with, right? I recently passed this nugget of wisdom along to a friend of mine who planned to be in the delivery room for the birth of his first. He later thanked me. Some things never change, I guess.